The Kessler Theater in the 1950s

kessler1950sJeffrey Liles of the Kessler Theater last week posted this photo of the theater in the 1950s.

The Kessler was built as a cinema in 1941. Gene Autry, who owned several theaters in Oak Cliff, bought it in 1945. A tornado hit it in 1957, and a fire around 1960 put it hopelessly out of commission until Edwin Cabaniss resurrected it in 2010.

Cabaniss is now doing the same for The Heights theater in Houston, which was built in 1928.

Check out our history of Oak Cliff movie theaters in the November Advocate.

By |2015-10-27T03:25:34-05:00October 27th, 2015|News, Oak Cliff History, Preservation|4 Comments

About the Author:

Rachel Stone is the Oak Cliff editor. Email or follow                                     


  1. Sandra L. Gruber November 19, 2015 at 7:34 PM

    Might help a bit if you would get your facts straight! The bldg was not vacant until Canibis bought it from 1959 to 2007 my family owned the bldg and it was a family embroidery company, “sweat shop” as Canibis called it!

  2. Dana (Sullivan) Gillham November 12, 2015 at 3:54 PM

    Tom lived in the apartments right behind the Kessler.

  3. Dana (Sullivan) Gillham November 12, 2015 at 3:53 PM

    Tom was your dad’s office in with J. N. Rumps office

  4. Tom Brooks October 29, 2015 at 5:09 PM

    Since we moved to Dallas in 1957, I never knew that place as the Kessler until it was renovated as the wonderful music venue it is today. This was despite the fact that my uncle owned and operated Oak Cliff Tax Service in the same building, on the side facing Davis. My dad even owned what was then a Phillips 66 station/U-Haul dealership across the street (still some sort of automotive place).

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